Luke Toulson 000 There‘s a local theme to this show with Totilsoti waxing comedic on the merits of Scottish soldiers and performing a ‘Scot ()ff' competition with the audience. It's lucky he owns tip to his less than stellar impersonations. and he more thaii makes tip for those with his loser-shtick and appealing everyman comedy. ((‘armody Wilson) Pl(’(l.\'(ll1('(’ ('ourtyunl. 556 ()550. until 25 Aug. 9.45pm. [8.501950 (£718).

Maeve Higgins 0000 Irish cake- baking. tea-cosy loving chatterbox Higgins is a sweet treat. linteriiig her weird world. where a warm. stream of consciousness makes her irresistible. she creates a memorable atmosphere with understated stories abotit her other dream job (museum curator). then adds darkly deadpan jokes about murderous foetuses or creepy dressed-up animals. Kooky- cool and a refreshing alternative to gobby. spiky lady stand-ups. she leaves her audience wanting seconds. ((‘laire Sawers) (ii/(it'll Bill/(uni li’t'iut. ()68 1653. until 24 Aug. 7.45pm. [8.501950 ((750-1850).

Mark Allen 000 After getting himself a cat. Allen decides to explore the relationship between humans and their pets. and finds himself in deeper than expected when he dons a dog suit to attend a party. Plus he's got pictures of cats in hats and goats with scary eyes: can you really go far wrong with that'.’ (Marissa Burgess) (’ntlt'rlu'l/y. ()844 545 8252. until 25’ Aug. 1.55pm. £8.50 £9.50 (£7.50- [8.50).

Mark Olver 0. In order to avert a mid-life crisis at 33. ()lver decided to walk froiii Bristol to lidinburgh. a feat he thought would also create some comedy gold. Unfortunately. as he freely admits. that didn’t happen. Atid so we have a very genial. crowd-friendly stand-up who continues his ramble through an hour of little consequence. which is a real shame as his self-deprecating style is very likeable. (Murray Robertson) L'mler/n'l/v. 0844 545 8252. until 24 Aug (nut 20). ().l0pnt. [9 [10! [8--[‘)).

Neil Delamere .0. This year the big-at-home. not-so-here lrish stand-up Delamere has based his show on a farcical. boo/y holiday in Stockholm. This is no travelogue btit merely an anchor to tie down his breathless. amiable wit. Delamere may be your standard. meat-and-two-veg kind of comic. btit with an evident mastery of his trade and effortless front-row ribbing. he is a very safe bet. (Nick Mitchell) Assembly Rooms, {)2} 3030, until 25 Aug. 8.45pm, [ll [12([10 till).

Nick Revell O. A simple premise of topical worries fill otit a set that feels more like a catch-tip with a funny pal than an hour of stand-up with a complete stranger. Revell's easy. conversational opening belies the raging tirades that make up the latter half. and for all his excellent accents. the show never really finds a balance between the observational and the angry. ((‘armody Wilson) (ii/(It'll Balloon li'i'irit. ()68 [63.3. until 24 Aug. 6.45pm. £8.50» £9.50 (£7.50 [8.50),

Nina Conti I... (‘harles Darwin is enjoying a bit of hoslltutttous publicity on the l5()th anniversary of ()n the Origin (i/‘S/u’t'u's. from Richard Dawkins' worthy TV celebration to (‘onti

lmprophecy Chronicles

with her haiid tip a puppet monkey's rear. She’s been bringing her postmodern ventriloquism to the Fringe for a few years. and it's certainly a well-honed act. Although such an outdated conceit is a risky strategy. (‘onti reclaims it brilliantly. (Nick Mitchell) I’lr'usunt't' ('uurtyurrl. 556 (i550. until 25 Aug (not [8). 8.25pm. L“). 50 [10.50 ( [8- [9). Pappy’s Fun Club .00 The sleeper hit of 2007. Pl"(‘ storm back with l’unmgv (is it possible to have a latigli and be environmentally friendly at the same time'.’). with an avid following cracking tip at every daft aside or snippet of nonsense. There‘s an early -Boosh charm to all this matey hokum and chances are more planning goes into this hapha/ard lunacy that meets the eye. (Brian Donaldson) I’lt’usunt'e (‘uurty‘unl 55() 6550, until 25 Aug. 6.40pm. [/2 [l4 (ii/0.50. £42.50).

Quincy: Single Mum 0.

Quincy has a good story to tell of becoming a single dad in tragic circumstances btit. perhaps understandably. there doesn‘t seem to be enouglt genuine humour there to keep the momentum tip. A different batch of material might suit his likeable manner atid decent delivery bettci'. (Brian Donaldson) (iilr/t’il Bill/nun 'Ii'i‘iut. 668 1655’. until 24 Aug. 9.15pm. £8.50 [9.50 ([7,50 [8. 50).

Real Daniel O’Donnell Show Presents O Witching hour tales of seiiii-terror have become such a hackncyed notlon now that only the most brilliant of scripts can lift them above the ordinary. This failure has a couple of decent ideas (the shy ghost and 'lii/vs of the ('iucvlu'ru'tl dancers) btit the lumpeii script resulted in an eiiibarrassingly' high number of walk-outs. (Brian Donaldson) I’lcusuiu'i' ('nurtyunl. 556 (i550. until 25 Aug. ll/nn. [8.50 [9.50(£7 [8).

Rule of Three .0 Steering too close to the wind of cliche (kids becoming ‘sti'cet'. Atissie extreme sports guys. ('ity workers being arrogant and loud). this trio get their teeth into some better material which just about sustains the hour. The slea/y boss and the


pumped-up gym lothario inject some freshness into proceedings. (Brian Donaldson) (Ii/(led Hal/nun 'Ii'i'iut. ()68 1635‘. until 25 Aug. noun. 18-1“) (fl-£8). Sean Grant and Tiernan Douieb O. Kicking off with tepid. half- baked and badly edited gags by Douicb. who wants to turn Rage Against the Machine songs into a musical. the show improves in the second half with (ilaswegian acid tongue. (irant. Making his family life sound like the Addams Family. and reminiscing on the time he blacked tip to an abolition of slavery celebration. his slow pace and relaxed delivery lift a hit-and-miss routine. ((‘laire Sawcrs) (ii/(led Balloon 'Ii'i'int, ()68 1635’. until 25 Aug (nut [8). 10pm. [8.50 [/0 l [7. 50 19).

Simply Fancy 000 These Atistralian players call themselves Pig lslaiid. btit they may as well hail from Mars. Their absurd adventure pits witless non-hero Brian. his spunky daughter and possibly robotic son against stock fantasy characters and a manta ray. liach line. character or incongruous pop song is a leftfield oddity which creates a bewildering whole. (Suzanne Black) (ii/(lt’tl Bill/(um li't'lut. ()68 [653. until 25 Aug. 9. I 5pm. £8. 50--£‘). 50

(£7.50- £8.50).

Stephen K Amos 0.. A hurricane of relentlessly energetic charisma. Amos has the crowd eating otit of his hand for every second of his set. llis comedy targets. including l’acebook. American politics and audience members' hometowns tread a well-worn path. btit when he hits the bullseye he really does live up to his promise of finding the funny and uniting everyone iii laughter. (limma .\'ewlands) I’lmsant'e

( ‘mirtyuril. 556 ()550. until 25 Aug. 9.40pm. £I4---[l5 (£12.50--£l.t’.50). Stuart Black 0.. Based on the negativity of the nightly news. Black's show gives thanks for the pallor of British holidaymakers and offers advice on how to seduce a girl from Somerset. llis delivery is embittered but askance and his punchlines are as world-weary as you'd expect from someone who

describes his exposed legs as ‘hairy stilton cheese'. The pace flags but it‘s a solid enough show. (Carmody Wilson) Hulyruml Too (0‘ Faith, 225 9764. until 24 Aug (not 18). 8pm. [5 (£4).

Susan Calman 000 Stressing there will be ‘nothing whimsical‘ in her show. the likeable Glaswegian lawyer- turned stand-up harks back to her legal roots by mentioning concepts such as ‘contributory negligence' in her routine. Her quick-fire patter on friends. family and tinned chicken in a white sauce is not going to shake comedy to its foundations. but it makes for a cheerful hour. (limma Newlands) The Stand Ill & IV 558 7272. until 24 Aug. 3.10pm. £7 (£6).

Tea and Cake ll 0 About as appetising as a raspberry lasagne. the Tea and Cake crew‘s latest show is tediously hellbent on giving bad mime a kicking. Targets hardly come much softer than that and it‘s tempting to imagine a mime group showing footage of this hour as the template for terrible sketch comedy. And who could blame them ‘.’ (Brian Donaldson) ( fmlerbellv. 0844 545 8252. until 24 Aug. 3.50pm. £8. 50—[1 0 (£7. 5041)).

Tina C 0.. America is once again the joke’s butt in the purple-sequinned world of Tina C. a country music starlet turned presidential candidate. Introduced by a troupe of dancers and shadowed by CIA men. this ‘political rally" is initially rather stilted. btit the flamboyant Miss C's heady brew of Dubya gaffes and Shania warbles soon captures the audience's hearts and minds. (Nick Mitchell) (Xi/(litrlu’lly's Pasture. 0844 545 8252. until 25 Aug. [0.20pm. £12.50—[l450 (till—[13).

Watson & Oliver 00. In this vibrant and entertaining sketch act. Lorna Watson and Ingrid ()liver expose their considerable talents as both writers of intelligent material and character actors with the timing and insight to make it sparkle. The pair sail through their surreal and technically demanding vignettes with barmy poise. only a few misfiring punchlines letting them down. (Sam Healy) l’leusunw ('mirtvanl. 556 6550. until 25 Aug. 5. [0pm. £9--£ll

([7. 50—1“). 50).

Who Writes This Crap? oooo Poets Luke Wright and Joel Stickley are in love with the English language: which is why they are so apoplectically enraged by its daily misuse. By rewriting all the ironic advertising. spam emails and glossy mag headlines read iii one day'. they find profound beauty in an age of spin and emoticons. The show is a cathartic. sarcastic relief. (limma Lennox) (fnrlerlu’llv. 0844 545 8252. until 24 Aug. 4.55pm. [9—17 0.50

( [8—19. 50).

Zoe Gardner’s Fault 00 Previously one half of the (‘ongress of ()ddities. Gardner is hardly to blame for there being a dearth of quality character comics this year and she does her utmost to pull the genre otit of the mire. Sticking a wig on to play her shrill producer and grabbing a clipboard to be a vacuotis care worker is fine and well. btit an over-reliance on sub-standard creations lets her down. (Brian Donaldson) Underbelly, 0844 545 8252. until 24 Aug. 5.20pm, [8-19. 50 (£7—£8.50).